What Is the Environments for Living Program?

Program helps builders improve the building science and performance of the new homes they build and educate homeowners.

topbuildlogoThe Environments For Living (EFL) program is offered by TopBuild Home Services, a TopBuild company. It is a national, turnkey program that provides a complete package of services to builders in applying the principles of building science to new home construction. By focusing on the home as a system of systems, the program helps builders construct homes that are more energy efficient, comfortable and durable than conventional code‐built homes.

The Environments For Living program is prescriptive and performance‐based and does not require builders to use any particular manufacturer’s product. Builders must follow specific requirements for tight construction, fresh air ventilation, improved thermal systems, rightsized HVAC equipment, air pressure balancing, internal moisture management and combustion safety. Here is a checklist of what the program includes.

The Environments For Living Certified Green program adds requirements for indoor water conservation and lighting and appliance efficiency, for enhanced homeowner and environmental benefits. The program was introduced in 2007. To date, more than 180,000 homes have been constructed under the EFL banner.

The Environments For Living Certified Green program was introduced in 2007. To date, more than 180,000 homes have been constructed under the Environments For Living banner.

The Environments For Living Certified Green program is the flagship level, combining the energy and building science platform of the original program with features for enhanced homeowner and environmental benefits. The program helps builders deliver homes that provide at least 20% household energy savings, 20% indoor water savings, and a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions associated with the home.

Builders may continue to participate in the original Environments For Living program, choosing either the Gold or Platinum energy level. Each level has progressively more stringent requirements for construction and performance:

  • The Gold energy level requires that homes perform 12% above code (2009 IECC) and may qualify for the EPA Energy Star label
  • The Platinum energy level requires that homes perform 18% above IECC
  • The Diamond energy level requires that homes perform 30% above IECC, and qualify for the U.S. Department of Energy Builder’s Challenge program.

The program allows builders to differentiate their homes from other new home builders. Click here to download the homeowners manual that explains features of an EFL home.

Visit EFL for more information on this program.